7 Tips for Gorgeous Tree Photography

8 Tips for Gorgeous Shrub Photography

tips for gorgeous tree photography

Want to consider stunning photos of trees and shrubs? You’ve come to the right place. I’ve been capturing trees for years, and in this article, I share plenty of tree digital photography tips and tricks, including:

  • Simple creative strategies you can apply to your tree photos
  • Interesting perspectives for beautiful pictures
  • How to get a great “lone tree” shot
  • Much more!

I also include a number of tree photography ideas so that you never run out of inspiration.

So take a deep breath, fill your lungs with tree-produced oxygen, and learn ways to take stunning photos!

1 . Find a solitary tree standing on its own

tree photography tips tree on its own in a field

The lone-tree-in-the-field shot is a nature photography classic, and for good reason: You obtain a strong main subject, you get a beautiful background, and you can usually frame the tree against a beautiful sky.

Note that you’ll need to meticulously position the lone tree in your composition. If the woods is symmetrical, putting this smack-dab in the middle of the framework can work. Otherwise, you’ll wish to consider the principle of thirds , which usually encourages you to put the woods a third of the way in to the frame.

Whenever you can get close, try using the wide-angle lens to show the whole tree in all its fame. You can also zoom out to make interesting minimalist images (with the tree framed by the beautiful background).

And if you can’t get close to the tree, consider utilizing a telephoto lens. You’ll get a more compressed appearance, but that’s not necessarily an undesirable thing (and it can help you blur the background, too).

So the next time you’re driving, look around intended for potential subjects. Make sure you look into the background, too, as you do not want the viewer to become distracted by elements positioned off in the distance.

2 . Look for tree tunnels

This really is another classic tree picture: The tree tunnel, which usually features two rows associated with trees leading off in to the distance:

tree photography tips tree tunnel with people walking in the distance

Here, it’s important that you find two unbroken, symmetrical rows of trees. You need a solid leading collection in the center, and the tighter the tree lines, the better.

You can experiment with different depth of field approaches with regard to creative images. A serious depth of field will certainly show lots of detail, whilst a narrow depth of field has the potential to produce highly artistic images.

If you can, incorporate a person or two in the background; that way, the viewer has an obvious place to sleep their eyes.

The tough part is actually finding the tree tunnel. I’d recommend doing some Googling for “tree tunnels, ” “fall foliage walks, ” and the like. You might also check out Instagram; see if you come across any great tree tunnel images consumed in nearby areas.

Speaking of which: If you possibly could shoot during the fall – when the colors are looking amazing – or even in the winter once the snow is falling, your results will be truly renowned.

3. Picture the same tree for a year

Trees alter over the course of the year, which gives a fantastic tree time-lapse chance. This works best away from the equator, but you can try it basically anywhere (if you’re working in the tropics, the modifications will be more subtle).

First, find a tree plus carefully determine your composition. I suggest using a tripod to maintain persistence; take photos of the exact position of the tripod and it is height, then store all of them on your phone so you can effortlessly reference them when you come back.

(If you can’t pick a single structure, feel free to come up with three or four. Yet you’ll need to carefully record each setup so you can return later on. )

Next, determine your settings . Make sure to record the aperture so you can maintain the depth of field constant. And if you’re using a contact, record the focal length.

Finally, take those same shot several times over the next twelve months! You can return once during each season, or – if you want to create a more intensive time-lapse series – come back every month or even each week.

Once the cycle is complete, you will have a beautiful set of images documenting the changing seasons.

trees in fall seen from above

4. Try out some creative techniques

If your tree images are looking a bit bland , then why don’t try out a fun creative technique?

For instance, you might capture a:

  • Tree silhouette. This works great with trees featuring beautifully shaped limbs! Head out around sunset, make sure your tree is framed contrary to the bright sky, and reveal for the brightest part of the scene.
  • Refraction shot . Bring along a lensball , keep it up in front of the tree, and shoot through the glass. You will get an interesting inverted picture inside the small glass world (see the example below).
  • Infrared scene . Go shooting on a sunny summer day which includes clouds in the sky. Find a shrub with plenty of green leaves, and use either an infrared filter or a good IR-converted camera. You may need to test out the settings, but you will end up with a beautiful dreamscape shot.
  • Long-exposure photo . If you can find a tree near a river or even framed against a partly cloudy sky, you can make a beautiful long-exposure blur. Decrease your shutter speed (you actually may need a neutral density filter ), use a tripod, then photograph the tree surrounded by movement.

upside-down image with a tree in a lensball

5. Concentrate on the details

Compositions that include the entire tree are usually nice…

…but tree fine detail images can be beautiful, too! In fact , trees offer all kinds of potential for amazing detail shots. Here are some items to consider:

  • Leaves. You can focus on a single leaf and widen the aperture for a lovely bokeh background . You can also grab a macro lens and focus even closer (so you highlight the particular leaf’s veins).
  • Bark. Trees offer beautifully textured bark, so get up close up and use a deep depth of field for plenty of detail. For maximum consistency, position yourself so the bark is sidelit.
  • The trunk. Observe the root program around the trunk. See what patterns you can photograph on the foot of the tree.
  • Branches. Take a minute to look up . Interlocking branches can create beautiful patterns, especially when they’re silhouetted against a bright skies.

the roots of trees in the jungle

6. Use trees because portrait backgrounds

Not every tree image must use the tree as the main subject; you can also use trees and shrubs as stunning backgrounds.

Portrait photos, in particular, benefit from tree backdrops. You may use tree tunnels to frame your subject, or you can position a lone subject near a lone tree for a minimalistic effect.

woman standing in a tunnel of trees with an umbrella

Plus, in summer time and fall, tree simply leaves make gorgeous background bokeh. Just put your subject matter in front of a leafy woods, widen the aperture, and watch as you create jaw-dropping pictures! This approach works especially well if you shoot during the golden hours and the background simply leaves are lit by the environment sun.

7. Try different vantage factors

Most photographers shoot trees from the biggest angle: Standing and looking straight ahead.

But if you want unique forest photos, why not mix up a little? Here are a few fun points of views you can use for more original shrub images:

  • Low angle. Get down lower and shoot from the viewpoint of a four-legged creature. This can create an intimate image that will emphasizes the height of the surrounding trees. You might think about adding in a foreground issue; try placing flowers in the downroad while keeping the tree in the background.
  • Worm’s-eye view. Get down lower on the forest floor, but rather of pointing the zoom lens straight ahead, point up at the treetops. See if you can shoot from the middle of a clearing with a wide-angle lens; that way, the trees will seem to be reaching for the atmosphere.
  • Bird’s-eye view. For this angle – looking down from above – you’ll require a drone, a helicopter, or some other way of getting high above the trees. It might take some work (and money), but the results can be magnificent!

almost eight. Include wildlife in your tree photos

Do you like to photograph mammals, birds, or insects? Try merging the wildlife with the trees and shrubs for spectacular forest pictures.

You can start small. Grab a close-focusing zoom lens, then see if you can find a few ants, beetles, caterpillars, or even butterflies to capture.

And if you have a telephoto lens, try creating some portraits of the local animals. Depending on your location, squirrels, chipmunks, and even monkeys will make stunning subjects.

monkey in the trees

Want to photograph wild birds? You can, though unless you’re shooting near a feeder or working in a sightless, you’ll need a very long zoom lens. I’d recommend 300mm being an absolute minimum, but 400mm, 500mm, or even 600mm is advisable.

Tree picture taking: final words

tree photography tips

Trees make amazing subjects, plus they’re almost everywhere!

Therefore remember these tree digital photography tips. Then head out together with your camera and have fun. You are bound to capture some spectacular photos!

What type of tree images do you plan to take? Do you have any kind of tree photography ideas you’d like to share? Leave a comment below!

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Simon Bond

Simon Bond

is a specialist within creative photography techniques and is well known for his work with a crystal ball. His work has featured magazines which includes National Geographic Traveler. Along with over 8 years of experience in lensball photography, Simon is an expert in this field. Get some great tips simply by downloading their free e-book!
Do you want to learn about crystal basketball photography? He has a course only for you! Obtain 20% off: DPS20.

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